Law will run its course against sword-wielding political leaders: Mamata

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Purulia (West Bengal), April 6 (IANS) Decrying the armed rallies organised across the state by the Sangh Parivar on the occasion of Ram Navmi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday gave a stern warning that the law would take its course against political leaders who are trying to intimidate people by walking with swords.

“Some political leaders walked on the street with swords. They are trying to intimidate people. No matter who it is, appropriate action would be taken against any political leader who rallied with arms. Law will take its course. Everyone is equal in this respect,” Banerjee asserted at the public meeting here.

Massive rallies were organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates like Hindu Jagoran Mancha, across the eastern state on Wednesday in a never before grandiose Ram Navmi celebration, where thousands of Hindu activists including school children were seen walking on the road brandishing sticks and sharp weapons.

Most of the senior state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders took part in the procession, with a number of them carrying arms. The party’s state President Dilip Ghosh, who is also an MLA in West Midnapore district’s Khargapur, was seen leading one such rally in his constituency by holding aloft a sword.

Banerjee said if carrying arms in the street rallies becomes a frequent practice, it may ignite confrontation between different communities and hamper the environment of peace and harmony in the society.

“Some groups rallied with swords and other weapons yesterday in the name of Ram Navmi. Carrying arms is not the tradition of the Hindu community. Tomorrow if any other community decides to rally with swords, would they start a sword fight on the streets? Will there be any peace left at our homes if that happens?” the Trinamool Congress supremo questioned.

However, Ghosh countered that carrying arms during Ram Navmi processions is an Indian tradition.

“This is a part of Indian tradition. These traditions are there long before Indian Constitution was written,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the Trinamool Congress, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said swords are not considered a weapon now and accused the state ruling party of supplying modern weapons to people.

“Swords are not considered as weapon nowadays. Young kids play with small fake swords as toys. In today’s world, guns and bombs are the real weapons and Trinamool Congress is solely responsible for the circulation of such weapons in the state,” he said.

–IANS

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